What We Do & Why It Matters

The Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications program prepares students for careers that help develop other people, organizations, and communities to solve real-world problems. Our students graduate prepared to lead, teach, and communicate to the world about issues relating to food, human development, and the environment.

Jasmine Collins Assistant Professor

Dr. Collins applies critical theories and methods to examine college student awareness and advocacy around contemporary social issues. Through her research, teaching, and service, she develops agricultural leaders who are self-and socially aware, multiculturally competent, and unafraid to tackle big issues.

Heather Cupps-Miller Instructor

Ms. Miller teaches courses that strengthen students’ journalism and communications skills, specifically involving the food complex, natural resources, rural-urban interactions, and other dimensions of agriculture and the environment. Through her background and experience in both education and industry, she cultivates students skilled in communicating across various multimedia platforms.

Vivechkanand “V” Chunoo Instructor

Dr. Chunoo investigates leadership learning processes to make them more accessible to a wider range of diverse individuals. His scholarship and teaching challenges historical narratives around leadership and shifts the mindset of leaders toward justice and equity.

Amy Leman Assistant Professor

Dr. Leman advances the understanding of effective strategies for teaching and learning in both K-12 classrooms and out-of-school time programs in community settings. Her work is informed by her background as a 4-H youth development educator and belief in youth empowerment.

Eric Morgan Associate Professor

Dr. Morgan’s research focuses on cultural discourses of environment. Specifically, he is interested in how people across cultures construct meaning about land, land-use, water, agriculture, and environment through communication. Dr. Morgan also researches how science is communicated with a focus on the science/public interface.

Gary Ochs Instructor

Mr. Ochs helps students achieve post-college success in agricultural education careers. He works with students to obtain teacher licenses and plan coursework, and coordinates outreach to new or potential students. Student rapport is the backbone of what he does as he works with students inside and outside the classroom.

Andrea Ray Office Administrator

Ms. Ray organizes the finances and logistical planning necessary for courses and research in ALEC. Her work ranges from ensuring courses are offered at times and places convenient for students, to helping faculty come in under budget, to making sure parking spaces are reserved for alumni when they come back to visit.

Owen Roberts Lecturer

Dr. Roberts focuses on practical and theoretical aspects of agricultural communications and agricultural journalism locally, nationally, and globally. He employs experiential learning approaches in the classroom and is dedicated to preparing students for the workforce and for graduate studies.

David Rosch Director and Associate Professor

Dr. Rosch provides leadership to the ALEC program. As a scholar, he explores ways to help high school and college students develop leadership skills that help set them apart from their peers and distinguish themselves as future leaders in the job market. He helps students build confidence in serving as leaders of their peers and motivates them to become more engaged in their communities.

Jennifer Smist Instructor

Dr. Smist helps students develop their capacity to address complex challenges and achieve their leadership potential. As the coordinator of the popular Minor in Leadership Studies, her teaching focuses on the foundations of effective leadership: self-awareness, interpersonal communication, and strategies for leading organizations and communities.